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The ‘cruelty’ of the Centrelink cash grab may just be starting

8 January 2017
Quentin Dempster
The New Daily

The Turnbull government’s mass invoices – constructed from data matching to claim discrepancies exist with Centrelink’s casual, disabled and vulnerable income earners – are expected to be used across the entire pensioner and social security sector. New discrepancies can be created over a recipient’s claimed asset values to substantiate invoices for ‘over-payments’.

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One Centrelink senior staffer, who asked not to be named, told The New Daily the anger and rage generated by the data matching strategy had placed counter staff under confronting pressure.

“They just want to spit on us,” he said.

He asked why DHS had not quarantined vulnerable recipients, many of whom were intellectually disabled, from the more able casual income earners.

If DHS had a genuine “customer focus” the entire casual income reporting process would be “bulletproof” for recipients so they could neither calculatedly defraud nor inadvertently fall into error. A department wanting to engender trust with Australians striving to earn sustaining incomes in a now highly casualised economy would act protectively towards them.

“One intellectually disabled bloke screamed, ‘I’ve had a go mate … I did some work’.”

Our informant said the Centrelink data matching strategy would soon be exposed as counter-productive, with recipients now likely to desist in seeking any paid work for fear of losing any of their welfare payments.